It takes a collective effort to keep the dream alive.
If you keep the dream alive, then I will too. Your inspiration keeps me inspired. Your steps towards your dream, nudge me towards mine. This is how we do it, how we keep going.
When I started my journey on directing my first feature film, I followed a golden rule. Build a team.
I strongly believe, and have experienced, that you are never as good alone as you are with a team who are all pushing towards the same goal. Do you have people that play on your team with you? That have skills and talent to offer towards your efforts? That can keep the momentum alive when you falter?
Every day I fight the artistic fight, I have to look at how I am working with others, how I am playing with others. Am I inclusive or protective? Am I arrogant or open? Am I hopeful or pessimistic? Am I patient or intolerant? Do I sincerely care, or am I acting on auto-pilot? If we just start by being honest about how we interact with colleagues, then perhaps we can build a consciousness that will lead us towards more productivity and an overall more enjoyable experience.
Your success begins by how you are participating in your Community. We can’t do it alone.
I know you made your resolutions for 2013. I would like to suggest now that you resolve to support and commit to something/someone beyond yourself. Here is my personal insight: I want to see you all work so that my efforts with you all are also rewarded, so I am determined to build our own Community for you all to thrive in and for exchanges to occur within. This is my tiny form of contribution to my Community; at the end of this email you will find Resources (people with skillz) that are willing to offer discounts to Heidi Alumni and Friends.
But, in order for this community to really conquer the W O R L D, you have to participate too. Your efforts will inspire my efforts. And the cycle will continue and we artists will all just get stronger! Keep me posted on your generous spirits and triumphs.
Simply start with any of the following suggestions below…
- Help someone else take a step towards their dreams. Today. Not tomorrow. Donate to a Kickstarter($10 shows support!). Offer someone a skill that you possess. Maybe you are good with websites and can give tips to an actor buddy. Sponsor someone to take a class or network event. Tell a comrade about an audition. (Alumnus Eric Chase surprised his alumni classmates to a round of drinks as a random act of kindness!)
- Establish a group that builds the community that you want to be a part of. This is how my friends at LAByrinth Theater Company got started. A group of them basically wanted to exercise their skills and create opportunities to perform. Just gather and talk or WORK on ideas or scenes. Don’t worry about the outcome at the outset. (Alumnae Marissa Mutascio puts actors and content creators together! Follow her at @NYActorsTweetUp)
- Network for FUN. Merely the word “networking” can be painful. It brings pressure to us all. I mean, how many film festivals or film panels should I attend to find the right team members for my film? The answer is simple: push your boundaries and also only participate where you have fun. If you aren’t having fun, ain’t no one gonna come and talk to you and be inspired by you. Are there festivals or gatherings you want to go to meet people? (Tribeca Film Festival is coming in April!) Or, try a workshop or class where you learn something that revs you up AND you meet colleagues.
- Match-make. You probably already know this about me, it is my favorite thing to do. If you can set up two people on a blind date, and then they fall in love, and then live happily ever after together…wasn’t the risk and the effort worth it? I have been so happy to see colleagues cast in films I recommend them for, or watch talented actors create a web series together, or hear an older alumni actor advise a younger alumni actor as they learn the business. Because all of this comes around. It’s artist karma. Who do you think is just cool and should meet each other? Know a filmmaker who should meet more of your actor friends? Trust me, it will come back at you ten times greater! (Alumnae Julia Grob was inspired to create a webseries with buddies, check out the upcoming season of East Willy B. Loads of Alumni in it! Flaco Navaja, Dominic Colon, etc.)
- Start a project with your friends. Start anything. And finish it. Who knows what will come of it! Do it to have fun, make yourself laugh, tell a good story, or just get experience with a camera. (Alumnae Anna Martemucci started a web series, PERIODS, with husband, friends, and Alumnus Philip Quinaz. It’s a huge hit!)
Keep the spirit alive by sharing the spirit. I am counting on you!